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Cases Surging in Asia

 
Old 12-12-20, 06:45 PM
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Cases Surging in Asia

As we're seeing surges here in the States, the entire world is also seeing surges, including many of the spots people virtually claimed the virus was defeated; some emphasizing this was because these areas highly populated with mask wearers. Seems like this highly contagious disease really likes it when people start huddling together as the weather cools.

https://apnews.com/article/internati...6a6d30846f958d

South Korea has reported 950 new coronavirus cases, its largest daily increase since the emergence of the pandemic, as fears grow about overwhelmed hospitals in the greater capital area.

The figures released Saturday brought the countryís caseload to 41,736, after health officials added more than 8,900 cases in the last 15 days alone. Six COVID-19 patients died in the past 24 hours to bring the death toll to 578.
https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/...als-warn-spike

Hong Kong health authorities warned of a 77 per cent spike in untraceable community Covid-19 infections over the past week, as 112 new cases were confirmed on Thursday, marking the third day in a row the city reported a triple-digit number.
https://asia.nikkei.com/Spotlight/Co...onavirus-surge
TOKYO -- Japan's latest spike in coronavirus cases overwhelmed a city in central Hokkaido, prompting the northern prefecture's governor to request backup from the national government.
The crisis in Asahikawa reveals a paradox cropping up across Japan. The country is awash in hospital beds, but has precious few medical workers to staff them.
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Old 12-12-20, 10:16 PM
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Inevitably even the countries with populations who are conditioned to self discipline and cooperating with authorities will tire of the constraints and take risks.

A friend who lives in Vietnam said that country's nearly perfect COVID free record was marred when Thai "escorts" were discovered to have sneaked across the border, evading testing, posting selfies showing no masks, etc., while socializing. I was a bit skeptical because that sounds too much like the usual xenophobia, blaming "outsiders," but in this case Vietnam's contact tracing seems to confirm that's how it happened.

After a vaccine, the next challenge to managing pandemics is figuring out how to encourage populations to cooperate with reasonable precautions, coping with confinement, isolation and loneliness... and somehow overcoming the persistence of paranoid propaganda and delusions.
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Old 12-13-20, 09:47 AM
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
Inevitably even the countries with populations who are conditioned to self discipline and cooperating with authorities will tire of the constraints and take risks.

A friend who lives in Vietnam said that country's nearly perfect COVID free record was marred when Thai "escorts" were discovered to have sneaked across the border, evading testing, posting selfies showing no masks, etc., while socializing. I was a bit skeptical because that sounds too much like the usual xenophobia, blaming "outsiders," but in this case Vietnam's contact tracing seems to confirm that's how it happened.

After a vaccine, the next challenge to managing pandemics is figuring out how to encourage populations to cooperate with reasonable precautions, coping with confinement, isolation and loneliness... and somehow overcoming the persistence of paranoid propaganda and delusions.
What, Vietnam don't have their own escorts?
Or is it a case of David Ricardo's comparative advantage?

I have read some speculation that cold weather and low humidity aids virus transmission. That could be a contributing factor to the surges seen in northern countries, but it certainly doesnt apply to places like Vietnam. At least not southern Vietnam.
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Old 12-13-20, 02:02 PM
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To put this all in perspective:
.
USA
Population: 328.2 million
Total Cases: 16,135,597
Cases per Day: 220,000
Total Deaths: 298,465
Deaths per Day: 3,000
.
Japan
Population: 126.5 million
Total Cases: 180,599
Cases per Day: 3,000
Total Deaths: 2,480
Deaths per Day: 50
.
South Korea
Population: 51.64 million
Total Cases: 42,766
Cases per Day: 1,000
Total Deaths: 580
Deaths per Day: 5
.
Vietnam Currently well off of the July/August/September peak
Population: 95.54 million
Total Cases: 1,397
Cases per Day: 5
Total Deaths: 35
Deaths per Day: Last Death was September 3, with peak at 3 dead per day.
.
Hong Kong
Population: 7.451 million
Total Cases: 7,541
Cases per Day: 100
Total Deaths: 115
Deaths per Day: 1
.
Washington State, USA
Population: 7.615 million
Total Cases: 199,735
Cases per Day: 3,000
Total Deaths: 2,879
Deaths per Day: 30
.
Continued vigilance is important, and a major outbreak in a small community can be problematic. But, there is hardly any comparison between what has been going on in the USA and what has been happening in several of the more prominent Asian nations (and cities).

China and associated regions may well start rolling out the vaccine soon. But, other Asian nations may be lagging somewhat.
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Old 12-13-20, 02:26 PM
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The perspective is important and we shouldn't forget it.

What is interesting is that places like South Korea and Japan that seemed to have it beat, are now seeing surges. Is it complacency with health measures, or colder weather forcing people indoors, or colder weather making the virus transmit better, or what?
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Old 12-13-20, 02:57 PM
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Originally Posted by skookum View Post
The perspective is important and we shouldn't forget it.

What is interesting is that places like South Korea and Japan that seemed to have it beat, are now seeing surges. Is it complacency with health measures, or colder weather forcing people indoors, or colder weather making the virus transmit better, or what?
The countries that have done the best: Australia, New Zealand, & Vietnam, have approached the virus to knock it down to ZERO. They have essentially no local transmission, and most of their cases are due to travelers in quarantine.

Looking at the case curve in Japan, and to some extent in South Korea, the cases largely mirror what happened in the USA.

We had the spring peak. Likely underestimating the actual case count, but moderately accurate mortality count.
With lockdowns, and restrictions we knocked the numbers down to very low by late spring.
Either due to Air Conditioning, or relaxing, there was a widespread summer surge. Following the surge case numbers were reduced, but never quite got down to pre-summer-surge levels.

Communities seemed content with the new norm. But, it left us all exposed with significant local transmission going into fall.

It is difficult to be an island without the virus (although countries can control their borders, while states and cities have more difficulty doing so. By mid summer, my county had very little local transmission, but the virus was raging all around us. My opinion is that we lost control in the fall when the University brought in out of town students. While they've been able to get the spread of the virus reduced on campus, the September/October surge bled into the community with fewer controls.

I have to believe that communities around the globe have struggled with low transmission followed by some kind of shake-up.
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Old 12-13-20, 07:23 PM
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Originally Posted by skookum View Post
What, Vietnam don't have their own escorts?
Or is it a case of David Ricardo's comparative advantage?
Yeah, that. My friend in Vietnam says Vietnamese and Thai women have distinctly different personalities and attitudes. Maybe some guys just crave "something strange," as my pal Queenie used to say. Or maybe that was a Beach Boys song?

I have read some speculation that cold weather and low humidity aids virus transmission. That could be a contributing factor to the surges seen in northern countries, but it certainly doesnt apply to places like Vietnam. At least not southern Vietnam.
Dunno. That weather/humidity theory has been around for years but researchers say there's little evidence to support that folk theory about why colds, flu and respiratory cooties seem seasonal.

For example, this incarnation of the Super Cooties spiked again in my area when the weather was still quite warm, ranging from summer to spring-like temperatures. We had a very mild autumn, rarely dipping below the 60s. Very little rain.

The only definitive connection appears to be people concentrating together in enclosed spaces, or outdoors with poor ventilation. Bars in city limits had some vague restrictions, but Texas has lots of unregulated county line stripper joints. It's BYOB, so there's no state, county or local regulation. Cops show up only when there's another assault or murder. Which we've had a couple of this year. Those places are packed, zero masks or social distancing.

The patrons and employees are mostly young, so if they catch the cooties they'll probably be okay. But they'll kill their older and vulnerable families, friends, coworkers, customers and patients.

Yeah, patients. I've seen way too many social media posts from nurses claiming the pandemic is a hoax, or they don't care if it's real because they need to get out and party. They'll post duckface selfies from bars during the pandemic. And then wonder later why they were disciplined or fired from their jobs in hospitals.

That's what we're up against.

And many folks are tired of the whole mask and social distancing thing. I don't own a car so I take the city bus or Uber to necessary medical appointments and, rarely, for other trips. Earlier this year bus passengers and Uber drivers were mostly cooperative with masking. By summer half the folks on buses wore chin-masks, ineffective. And one Uber driver ignored the company's mandate to wear a mask -- that's the only time I've reported any problems to Uber, and I didn't name the driver.

During my most recent medical appointments, a week or so ago, half the bus passengers didn't bother with masks. The drivers are no longer trying to enforce the mask mandate. Can't blame them, too many crazy and violent people out there. So instead of taking the usual three or four bus connections and two hour trip home, I bailed out at the downtown stop and walked 8 miles home. I stopped at Marshal's or Ross for new walking/jogging shoes first, which fit perfectly, so no problems walking that far my first time in new shoes. I like 'em so well now I'm walking and slow-jogging around 5 miles, three days a week.

Temperature and humidity may be a factor but it's mostly people. As Pogo the possum said in Walt Kelly's comic, riffing on the famous Commodore Perry quote, "We have met the enemy and he is us."

Last edited by canklecat; 12-13-20 at 07:27 PM.
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Old 12-13-20, 08:06 PM
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post

Temperature and humidity may be a factor but it's mostly people. As Pogo the possum said in Walt Kelly's comic, riffing on the famous Commodore Perry quote, "We have met the enemy and he is us."
That quotation sums up the covid crisis quite well.

I amgetting the feeling that we still dont understand how this virus spreads, that maybe there is another factor that we are missing. But, hey I'm just a dude on the internet, I have no special knowledge.

There is a seasonal effect with many viruses.

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This increase in Rt can be ascribed to seasonality of the virus. Seasonality of respiratory pathogens is (incredibly) not well understood but is thought to be due to a combination of indoor crowding and increased stability of viral particles in drier winter air. 3/14
this from a long twitter thread from last month...
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Old 12-13-20, 08:23 PM
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Yup, for decades we've heard speculations about why these cooties that prefer respiratory system entry do indeed seem to peak in winter.

I keep trying to look on the bright side. So this pandemic should finally motivate world governments to fully fund medical research to investigate the full effects of viruses and how they spread.

I know in my case, all those respiratory bugs that made me sick in winter when I was younger seemed to be a combination of increased exposure to people in confined spaces, and a lifelong struggle with upper respiratory inflammation and congestion. So now I'm much more diligent about taking care of myself, including keeping the nasal passages clear without drying them out.

This spring my immunologist prescribed some new inhalers that work well, and both she and my ENT doc suggested some changes to my diet, supplements, etc. I've cut back on the milk and dairy stuff -- apparently it really did contribute to my nasal congestion, and eases when I switch to non-dairy "milk." And while I was skeptical of supplements like bromelain and bee propolis, they do seem to help.

And my endocrinologist wanted me to take massive amounts of vitamin D since I was in the danger zone. It's finally up to normal levels after a couple of years. I get more sunlight now, and don't use sunscreen in summer. Oddly, I stopped sunburning after losing 55 lbs and cutting way back on the sugar and alcohol. Maybe just a coincidence, but I used to burn up every summer and don't anymore. Supposedly sun exposure helps with vitamin D, and boosts the body's natural production of nitric oxide.

One change has been to dress more warmly indoors and avoid running the furnace until the temperature approaches the low 60s indoors. When my mom was alive and I was her full time caregiver I set the a/c to her comfort zone. But for myself I prefer it cooler indoors year 'round, so I run the a/c more in summer (hey, it's Texas), and hardly ever turn on the heat in winter.
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Old 12-13-20, 09:11 PM
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Originally Posted by skookum View Post
What, Vietnam don't have their own escorts?
Or is it a case of David Ricardo's comparative advantage?

I have read some speculation that cold weather and low humidity aids virus transmission. That could be a contributing factor to the surges seen in northern countries, but it certainly doesnt apply to places like Vietnam. At least not southern Vietnam.
​​​​​​Here in Seattle and in many other places, winter is cooler but more humid than summer. When you look at US maps that are color coded by any covid metric, you see a map of political attitudes which are strongly correlated with covid spreading behavior. How bad the covid in an area is doesn't look like it has that much to do with climate.
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Old 12-14-20, 08:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
​​​​​​Here in Seattle and in many other places, winter is cooler but more humid than summer. When you look at US maps that are color coded by any covid metric, you see a map of political attitudes which are strongly correlated with covid spreading behavior. How bad the covid in an area is doesn't look like it has that much to do with climate.
The original post was about Asia. Not so many Republicans there.
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Old 12-14-20, 09:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
​​​​​​Here in Seattle and in many other places, winter is cooler but more humid than summer. When you look at US maps that are color coded by any covid metric, you see a map of political attitudes which are strongly correlated with covid spreading behavior. How bad the covid in an area is doesn't look like it has that much to do with climate.
Originally Posted by skookum View Post
The original post was about Asia. Not so many Republicans there.
Here we also get high humidity in the winter, low in the summer.

Whether or not the OP is about Asia, it is also about the spread of COVID, especially in areas that previously had a low infection rate.

Australia is doing well now through the spring and summer, but realists still realize the potential impact of the coming fall and winter, and a global vaccine program that may not catch up in time.

One issue with COVID is the exponential growth in an outbreak.

If one can start an outbreak with ONE case, then it can take several weeks to gain steam.

If one starts the outbreak with a few hundred, or a few thousand cases, then it can get really bad very quickly, before the government and the public are ready to fight it.
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Old 12-14-20, 09:21 AM
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As far as the seasonal impact of viruses, it may not be as much about the absolute temperature and humidity, as human interactions.

It should be noted that COVID spread just fine in India, Iran, Brazil, and across the Americas from warm climates to cold climates from humid climates to dry climates.

There seemed to be a boost in the south in the USA over the summer, likely with greater use of AC, and people heading indoors.

Winter brings school kids of all ages together. While the impact of COVID on school kids has been hotly debated, the ability for grade school kids up through young adults in college to spread various diseases shouldn't be underestimated.
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Old 12-14-20, 09:33 AM
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Originally Posted by skookum View Post
The perspective is important and we shouldn't forget it.

What is interesting is that places like South Korea and Japan that seemed to have it beat, are now seeing surges. Is it complacency with health measures, or colder weather forcing people indoors, or colder weather making the virus transmit better, or what?
This is a coronavirus. They are high infectious and cases rise ~100X in the colder months as temps drop, and mucus membranes become dryer. Masks work but only to a point-the other major entry point for mucosal virus are the eyes - which most masks don't cover. All in all, Asia is doing very, very well controlling this and for the most part, will come out of this with only a limited number of fatalities.

Personally, I think masks are working in the USA but we are so far beyond the point of masks in the USA. We are stuck with 2000-4000 deaths per day for another 3 weeks at an absolute minimum (1-2% cases lead to death in 2 weeks) and most likely since cases won't drop below 100,000 per day without wide spread vaccination - won't go below 1000-2000 deaths per day till the late spring early summer. Scary to think that we will most likely hit 500,000 dead before the numbers really start dropping down.
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Old 12-15-20, 12:10 AM
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Originally Posted by skookum View Post
The original post was about Asia. Not so many Republicans there.
Well played. You make me chuckle.

My point is dry weather can't have that much to do with the virus spreading, because it's spreading like wildfire in places with high humidity too, infecting more people now than when it was drier.
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Old 12-15-20, 06:42 AM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
To put this all in perspective:
.
USA
Population: 328.2 million
Total Cases: 16,135,597
Cases per Day: 220,000
Total Deaths: 298,465
Deaths per Day: 3,000
.
Japan
Population: 126.5 million
Total Cases: 180,599
Cases per Day: 3,000
Total Deaths: 2,480
Deaths per Day: 50
.
South Korea
Population: 51.64 million
Total Cases: 42,766
Cases per Day: 1,000
Total Deaths: 580
Deaths per Day: 5
.
Vietnam Currently well off of the July/August/September peak
Population: 95.54 million
Total Cases: 1,397
Cases per Day: 5
Total Deaths: 35
Deaths per Day: Last Death was September 3, with peak at 3 dead per day.
.
Hong Kong
Population: 7.451 million
Total Cases: 7,541
Cases per Day: 100
Total Deaths: 115
Deaths per Day: 1
.
Washington State, USA
Population: 7.615 million
Total Cases: 199,735
Cases per Day: 3,000
Total Deaths: 2,879
Deaths per Day: 30
.
Continued vigilance is important, and a major outbreak in a small community can be problematic. But, there is hardly any comparison between what has been going on in the USA and what has been happening in several of the more prominent Asian nations (and cities).

China and associated regions may well start rolling out the vaccine soon. But, other Asian nations may be lagging somewhat.
When will this be really over? Is the wrong choice of freedom in the USA cause those figures? Just thinking....
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Old 12-15-20, 06:44 AM
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Asia is having surges... not a mega-tsunami. Relatively speaking. Likely they will get them under control too.
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Old 12-15-20, 09:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
Well played. You make me chuckle.

My point is dry weather can't have that much to do with the virus spreading, because it's spreading like wildfire in places with high humidity too, infecting more people now than when it was drier.
I'm just trying to get my head around it. It is disease experts who are saying that low humidity and low temperatures aid in virus transmission. I do realize that the biggest factor is social, the virus transmits most easily in everyday social interaction, and though we know that, people don't take the necessary precautions.

I know the Chinese are claiming that it can be transmitted by frozen food, which seems plausible, but I don't think is accepted by most scientists. The cold low humidity scenario is troubling because that is the kind of weather we get here in the winter, which is just beginning.
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Old 12-21-20, 07:07 AM
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If you look at the cycle of surges and abatement, it's clear that the weather issue is one of likelihood you're sharing HVAC with an infected person. The summer surges in the US were generally in very hot places where people tended to go inside for AC.
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Old 12-27-20, 04:59 AM
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Originally Posted by ropetwitch View Post
When will this be really over? ... Just thinking....
it aint ever going to be "over" ... spend 2021 figuring out how to best live in 2022 and beyond .... COVID is akin to climate change except much much faster occurring and requires a different life style
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Old 12-27-20, 06:12 PM
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2021 is going to be crappy.
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Old 12-27-20, 06:52 PM
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Those Asian countries thought they had defeated it and relaxed their safer behavior. Same thing will happen everywhere as the vaccine rolls out.

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Old 12-27-20, 07:40 PM
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Originally Posted by jack pot View Post
it aint ever going to be "over" ... spend 2021 figuring out how to best live in 2022 and beyond .... COVID is akin to climate change except much much faster occurring and requires a different life style
Nonsense.

January is going to be cruel, but there is every reason to believe it will improve from that point forward.
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Old 12-27-20, 09:18 PM
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South Korea and Japan are experiencing the pandemicís persistence in a stark reminder of the enduring and evolving challenges of fighting the coronavirus.

Hong Kong, suffering a fourth wave, has imposed its toughest controls on new arrivals, requiring travellers from overseas to complete 21 days of hotel quarantine, as total infections rose again to about 8,500 this weekend.

In Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore outbreaks have swept through the packed housing of migrant workers.

Even Taiwan last week lost its proud record of no domestic transmissions since April, although with just one new infection, it retains a remarkable record. Eva Air, the islandís largest airline, sacked a New Zealand pilot blamed by the government for the case after failing to follow disease prevention rules.
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Old 12-28-20, 08:04 PM
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Originally Posted by tyrion View Post
Those Asian countries thought they had defeated it and relaxed their safer behavior. Same thing will happen everywhere as the vaccine rolls out.

I think the reasons for the waxing and waning of COVID infections is something epidemiologists will be studying for some time. I was watching a documentary on the Spanish Flu last night, and they had an interesting observation. The flu struck pretty much the world over, and badly, but some places ... China in particular, did much better and Samoa did much worse. One theory is that they were exposed to close relatives of the same virus, and were partially immune. For sure, the response to the virus itself a major factor, but it may not be the only one.
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